DirecTV AM21 (OTA Tuner) Now Available - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 81 Old 04-30-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Directv.com was down all morning, and it seems like they updated portions of the site. I logged in, and was notified of getting a $5 credit if I signed up for auto bill pay, big deal.

Anyway, I went to kits and eqiupment, and the AM21 is now available, for $50. Solid Signal is charging $99 for this thing, lol and most others are charging $59.

Anyone else order it?
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post #2 of 81 Old 04-30-2008, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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DIRECTV® AM21 Off-Air Tuner
$50.00
Designed to work seamlessly with the DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR, this specialized tuner allows you to view your SD and HD local off-air channels. And for added convenience, it integrates them directly into the DIRECTV on-screen Advanced Program Guide®.
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post #3 of 81 Old 04-30-2008, 11:45 AM
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I think most of the vendors were speculating on the price.

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post #4 of 81 Old 04-30-2008, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlachowin View Post

Anyway, I went to kits and eqiupment, and the AM21 is now available, for $50. Solid Signal is charging $99 for this thing, lol and most others are charging $59.

Do you have a link for the AM21? It didn't come up on their search engine.
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post #5 of 81 Old 04-30-2008, 03:11 PM
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Try this.

https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/mydir...ammingKits.jsp

If it doesn't work, I clicked on My Programming & Equipment, and then clicked on Add Kits & Equipment.
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post #6 of 81 Old 04-30-2008, 03:54 PM
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Will this work as an external tuner if I ever leave Direct TV's Service or is it somehow linked to using the service? I live in Seattle quite close to the signal on top of a hill, will my reception on local hd channels conceivably be better with this device than on the satellite? Thanks for any responses, SKF
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post #7 of 81 Old 05-01-2008, 05:19 AM
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1) It won't work unless you have your receiver activated and have the HD package. It can't be used as a stand alone tuner either.

2) Typically OTA reception offers the best PQ though depending on how good of a feed Directv is getting, you may or may not see differences between your OTA and Directv provided channels.

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post #8 of 81 Old 05-02-2008, 05:23 PM
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So I've been having problems with my old tivo based hr10-250, called diretv and they said they would send me a new hr21 as an exchange and offered to send me a new am21 as well. I got the hr21 and am waiting for my free am21 which I had previously preordered on value electronics and so had to cancel, can't wait to see the quality of the tuner?

when you always do what you've alway done, you always get what you always got.
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post #9 of 81 Old 05-03-2008, 06:43 PM
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One thing you can say about Directv is they ship fast, got my am21 today , hooked it up to the hr21 , works perfectly, looks good, I'm jazzed.

when you always do what you've alway done, you always get what you always got.
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post #10 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 05:50 AM
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Their page shows it as $9.98 monthly lease fee for the add on.
Is that for real
So I have to pay more monthly for a feature they didn't add?
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post #11 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xarias View Post

Their page shows it as $9.98 monthly lease fee for the add on.
Is that for real
So I have to pay more monthly for a feature they didn't add?

Where do you see that? I haven't seen it anywhere and I just looked again.
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post #12 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 08:06 AM
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It was up on their site under equipment-I added it to my cart and now it's gone from their site. Says:

Directv am21 Off-air tuner
Price-$50.00
qty 1
Shipping handling free
Lease fee-9.98

I wonder if those are reversed?
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post #13 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 08:26 AM
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What is this exactly. I am wondering if this would help me?

I am having alot of digital compression on ABC HD and some CBS HD feeds on my HD DVR from Direct and would like to be able to get the OTA HD channels and see if there is a big improvement.

Would this be the way to go or would I still be better to grab one of the HDTV antennas Like at Radio Shack and hook directly into my TV in the back. I have 2 RF connections on my TV

Any thoughts on this for a dumb one here?

Thanks

Ed

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post #14 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 08:38 AM
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I want it because I am having a problem with my local Fox network and DTV seems unable to help. I get this digital chirp and then the audio is not synched with the video. It can go on a long time. It doesn't happen when viewing OTA broadcasts or on standard definition broadcasts, but calling DTV is a joke. It's almost impossible to explain to them and they don't seem to get that it's something with thier broadcast.

I'm actually really sorry I switched ffrom Dish.
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post #15 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eghill1125 View Post

What is this exactly. I am wondering if this would help me?

I am having alot of digital compression on ABC HD and some CBS HD feeds on my HD DVR from Direct and would like to be able to get the OTA HD channels and see if there is a big improvement.

Would this be the way to go or would I still be better to grab one of the HDTV antennas Like at Radio Shack and hook directly into my TV in the back. I have 2 RF connections on my TV

Any thoughts on this for a dumb one here?

Thanks

The AM21 is an outboard Digital TV (DTV) tuner specifically for use with the DirecTV HD receiver H21 & HD DVR HR21. Older DirecTV HD receivers and HD DVR's all had built in DTV tuners; the H21 & HR21 do not. The AM21 is for subs that want to receive their local DTV stations via an antenna. The quality of the local DTV stations will be as good as possible using an AM21, since it's getting them directly from the source, as opposed to getting them from DirecTV, which may not pass them as received. Also, in most cases DirecTV does not yet carry all local DTV stations in any given area, and with the right antenna set up most subs would get more local DTV channels using the AM21, than from DirecTV.

If your HDTV has a DTV tuner built in, you can certainly use an antenna to get the local DTV stations. The major issue would be switching back and forth between your internal DTV tuner and the DirecTV HD input. The AM21 would integrate the local DTV stations with your existing DirecTV channels, in the guide and for channel surfing.

In either case, you'll need an antenna.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #16 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 09:17 AM
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Thank you for the answer. That explains it all for me alot better.

I will have to consider this and the other way first before I go ahead and get it.

Ed

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post #17 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eghill1125 View Post

Thank you for the answer. That explains it all for me alot better.

I will have to consider this and the other way first before I go ahead and get it.

I would strongly suggest checking with others in your area, to see what local DTV they are receiving. Here is the index to local topics:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=453241

You can also experment with an antenna yourself, see if you can find one at a local retailer with a good return policy, and check the FAQ topic at the top of this forum.

Good luck.

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post #18 of 81 Old 05-06-2008, 01:48 PM
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Typical D* price gouging that is now increasing yearly.

Your absolute BEST PQ for HDTV is free OTA-HD (this is FACT), so get that "HD-Ready" Terk antenna hooked up ASAP!

Or, you can be smart and use an old set of rabbit-ears that work just as well. You can impress your friends by putting a home-made "HD" sticker on it.
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post #19 of 81 Old 05-07-2008, 11:26 AM
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so i ordered mine online from directv.com last wed the 30th and i still havent gotten mine its been a week, how long is it supposed to take?

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post #20 of 81 Old 05-07-2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techtvman View Post

so i ordered mine online from directv.com last wed the 30th and i still havent gotten mine its been a week, how long is it supposed to take?

You might want to either give them a call or send them an email. It appears that there was some sort of error between D* and FedEx. I ordered mine on the 30th as well and as of yesterday saw no tracking number. I sent them a quick email and within 5 minutes got a reply saying that the original order had been canceled and a new order was placed. The tracking number was posted on the website about 15 minutes later. This all too place yesterday and it's scheduled to be delivered today. This also seems to be the case with most of the people that I've heard from who ordered on the 30th.
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post #21 of 81 Old 05-07-2008, 02:27 PM
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Can channels be manually added or scaned in or do you only have access to the ones provided by the local networks list?
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post #22 of 81 Old 05-08-2008, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfan View Post

Can channels be manually added or scaned in or do you only have access to the ones provided by the local networks list?

It adds the channels that are in the HR20 database (which is according to you ZIP Code), not what is actually out there. You cannot add channels, but you can delete them. When you first set it up, it displays a list of channels and you can select or deselect each channel. If you deselect a channel, you cannot even go to it manually. You have to go back into the setup menu and edit the channels to add that one.

At first, I didn't like the thought of not being able to add channels manually, but I guess they keep their database pretty updated.

CIAO!

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post #23 of 81 Old 05-08-2008, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

The major issue would be switching back and forth between your internal DTV tuner and the DirecTV HD input. The AM21 would integrate the local DTV stations with your existing DirecTV channels, in the guide and for channel surfing.

Not to mention the ability to record OTA.

CIAO!

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post #24 of 81 Old 05-09-2008, 09:38 AM
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You can record OTA?
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post #25 of 81 Old 05-09-2008, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypokondriak View Post

You can record OTA?

That's the whole point of the AM21.
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post #26 of 81 Old 05-09-2008, 12:00 PM
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I recieved my AM21 from DirecTV yesterday and set it up last night. It is very easy to set up. You unplug the power wire from the HR21, plug in the usb cable, plug in a power jumper from the AM21 to the HR21, and then plug the old power cable from the wall into the AM21.

It will then ask if you want to set up the over the air tuner. You say yes, and it asks you to enter your zip code. It will automatically copy the zip code you have entered in your HR21 if you have it set. The unit will then download the list of local stations you should get, and add them to your guide. You can then edit the stations and remove any stations that do not come in, or if there are duplicates.

If you can recieve signals from other markets you can also enter in a second zip code to try to get those channels also. For example I live in Peoria, IL so my first zip code is mine in Peoria, and setting it up allows me to get all of my Peoria locals. But with my antenna I can also recieve some of the local channels out of the Rock Island, IL area. So I entered in the zip code for Rock Island and those channels were added to my guide also. My antenna only pics up about half of the channels that are available in Rock Island, so then I just went into the settings and told it to hide the Rock Island channels I could not recieve (This is in a seperate place under antenna setup, I'm not just customizing my custom channel listings).

I am very happy with the unit.
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post #27 of 81 Old 05-09-2008, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker View Post

I recieved my AM21 from DirecTV yesterday and set it up last night. It is very easy to set up. You unplug the power wire from the HR21, plug in the usb cable, plug in a power jumper from the AM21 to the HR21, and then plug the old power cable from the wall into the AM21.

One presumes you also have to attach an antenna lead into the AM21.

SMK
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post #28 of 81 Old 05-09-2008, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post

One presumes you also have to attach an antenna lead into the AM21.

SMK

Minor detail.

CIAO!

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post #29 of 81 Old 05-10-2008, 06:22 PM
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Thanks to the OP for starting this thread. Very timely for me.

I got an auto call on Thurs. Stating (in effect) that Sunday ticket would be changing to an mpeg 4 feed etc..... call this # to arrange a FREE upgrade to a compatible HD DVR, there is high demand for this so call soon to arrange an installation. You do not want to miss out on the next exciting season of NFL Sunday Ticket.

I've had a 10-250 for the past 3 years or so and was wondering when they would get around to offering this. Did not want the hassle of dealing with retention. I have had D* since 1995 and have witnessed their CSR quality slowly decline.

Anyway, called yesterday (on the special "best customer #"). Explained about the call offering a FREE upgrade and the ugly results:

"no problem, I can take care of that for you, can I put you on hold?"

"ok, well we can do that for the standard $199, is that ok?"

"UH NO, what do you not understand about the meaning of the word free ?"

"Can you hold?"

"OK we can do that, oh there will be a charge of $19.95 for S&H is that ok?"

"yeah, whatever"

So while he's doing the processing thing I ask a few questions:

"Are there any HR-20's still available?"

"what's an HR-20, I've never heard of them"....

"well to explain and help YOU out since I'm sure the question will come up again.................."

"OTA, ATSC mpeg 2 V. mpeg 4, I am not familiar with those terms, would you like me to transfer you to technical support?" "And anyway, why would anyone want or need an antenna, DirecTV gives you all your channels, including the locals"

Even though I realize I have now plunged down the rabbit hole I persist:

"would you please check availability on the accessory AM21 ....... for the HR
21?"

"Not available YET".

The install is scheduled for Tues. Guess I have to make another call pdq and see what argument is needed to obtain the AM21. (for FREE).

IMHO this recounting is funny and sad. Back when you could call D* and talk about a problem .... Well this is too long and OT.

Joe
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post #30 of 81 Old 05-10-2008, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post

One presumes you also have to attach an antenna lead into the AM21.

SMK


Yes, sorry you do have to hook up an antenna

I would recommend putting the AM21 underneath the HR21. I had put mine on top at first, but it did seem to make both the AM21 and HR21 get a bit warm.

Bronco70 you should definitely call back and speak to someone again. There is an offer where anyone who has upgraded from the 10-250 in the last 90 days is able to get the AM21 for free. I called and tried to get the AM21 for free because I had heard it was anyone who got the HR21 in the last 90 days, but they told me it was only for people who have recently upgraded from the 10-250.
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